In this episode of the Bradley Lecture Series Podcast, we’re revisiting “The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campus” by Alan Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, originally given at AEI’s headquarters in October of 1998.

Professor Kors’ lecture provides valuable insight into the history of this problem. While there is plenty of blame to go around, Professor Kors makes the case that those whose roles we see least may have the strongest effect. In particular, he discusses the influence of mid-level college administrators who have been given ever broader authority over students’ lives, speech, and consciences from the time the students set foot on campus for orientation to the time they leave.

As the 2018 midterm election approaches, America’s polarized politics are on full display. In this episode of The Report Card with Nat Malkus, on the AEI Education Podcast, Jonathan Zimmerman and Norm Ornstein join to discuss how addressing controversial topics in the classroom head-on, and giving all students the opportunity to engage in competitive, civil debate, can – paradoxically — help create more informed citizens and improve the nation’s political discourse.


In this episode of the Bradley Lecture Series Podcast, we’re revisiting “Recovering the Case for Capitalism” by Yuval Levin, Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, originally given at AEI’s headquarters in January of 2010.

Though much has changed in the American political landscape since that time, many of the forces arrayed against capitalism remain the same. Levin’s lecture provides an affirmative argument for democratic capitalism. But it’s not an argument for a caricature, or for moral license, or for laissez-faire. It is an argument for the moral good of national wealth, of diffuse power, and of virtues encouraged by market pressures, but also by tradition, family, and love.

“The entitlement crisis is real, and it is worse than you think.” So argue James Capretta and Yuval Levin in a recent cover story in The Weekly Standard. As they write, the CBO projects that under plausible assumptions, the government’s cumulative debt will grow from 78 percent of GDP this year to 148 percent in 2038 and to 210 percent of GDP in 2048 — and even a total repeal of last year’s tax cuts won’t come close to mitigating that rise. To discuss how deleterious this debt load will be for the United States, and what steps can be taken to prevent it, I am joined by my AEI colleague James Capretta.

James is a resident fellow and holds the Milton Friedman Chair at AEI, where he studies health care, entitlement, and US budgetary policy. An associate director at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security, welfare, and labor and education issues. You can download the episode by clicking the link above, and don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Tell your friends, leave a review.

When the National Assessment for Educational progress scores came out this year, media headlines express concern over lack of progress in American education. But what do these tests actually tell us? On this episode of the AEI Education Podcast, host Nat Malkus talks to Tom Loveless and James Harvey about how NAEP and international tests are used and misused, what they tell us about American education, and how the “proficient” benchmark may be misleading policymakers and the public.

The “How High the Bar” report mentioned in the podcast:

In this episode of the Bradley Lecture Series Podcast, Jonathan Last discusses his 2014 book “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Crisis.”  Last predicted that, within two years, the world’s population would begin contracting sharply, with dire economic, political, and cultural implications. Last puts this predicament in perspective: middle-class American women are now voluntarily reproducing at about the same rate as Chinese women, who have been subjected to 30 years of an official, brutal, one-child policy.

Why is this happening, and how can we reverse the trend? Please join us in this Bradley Lecture as Last explores the roots and consequences of the population implosion, explaining why, as P.J. O’Rourke notes, “the only thing worse than having children is not having them.”

This episode of the Bradley Lecture Series podcast features Professor Samuel Huntington on his famous essay, “The Clash of Civilizations.”  In this lecture, given at AEI one year before the essay’s publication in Foreign Affairs, Huntington makes the case that the post-Cold War order is entering a new phase wherein conflicts will no longer be defined ideology or by economics.  Rather, conflicts will fundamentally be about culture and culture’s broadest level of identity short of what distinguished human beings from other species, civilization.  A quarter century after its initial release, Huntington’s ideas are being revisited and gaining new followers around the world.

This lecture was originally given on October 19, 1992. Full details can be found on the original event page here.

In recent years, schools have focused mainly on raising math and reading scores. On this episode of the AEI Education Podcast, host Nat Malkus discusses of how field trips and arts education can keep students engaged in school, improve their vocabulary, and turn them into well-rounded learners.

This episode of the Bradley Lecture Series podcast features Professor Christopher Jencks, now of Harvard University, and AEI’s Robert Doar.  In his lecture, Jencks evaluates the impact of major social welfare programs dating back to the New Deal, concluding that, contrary to popular opinion, they have done a better job over the past generations than most of us realize.  Of course, social welfare policy in America has changed dramatically since this lecture was given in the summer of 1996, and, in the first section of this episode, AEI’s Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies Robert Doar discusses what reform has looked like since and puts Jencks’ lecture in context.

This lecture was originally given on May 13, 1996. Full details can be found on the original event page here.

In a rare show of bipartisanship earlier this summer, Congress reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act. In the third episode of the AEI Education Podcast, host Nat Malkus talks to Rep. Glen Thompson (R-PA), one of the original sponsors of the Perkins Act, and Greg Ferenstein, an independent writer and consultant, about what the new law will do to bring Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities to more students and about historical reasons why it has been so difficult to expand CTE in America.


This episode of the Bradley Lecture Series Podcast features Professor Gertrude Himmelfarb, one of the preeminent historians of the Victorian Era.  In her lecture, Professor Himmelfarb speaks about the cultural transformation from Victorian virtues to modern values in a morally relativist society.  She argues that people during the Victorian era developed policies and social norms to encourage hard work, self-reliance, self-respect, and pride in country, while people today have demoralized social debates.

As controversies over values grow ever more divisive, Himmelfarb reminds listeners that values are no substitute for virtues–and that the Victorians, for all their flaws, had something important to teach us about what it means to live a worthwhile life.

Just to maintain our current overall rate of economic growth, the economy has to double its research efforts every 13 years. At least according to Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom and his co-authors in their recent paper, “Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?” He joined me to discuss the policy implications of his research, and what it means for US growth going forward. We also discuss his work on economic uncertainty, how to measure it and how much it really affects the economy, and why Paul Krugman has attacked his thesis so much.

Nick Bloom is a professor of economics at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow of SIEPR, and co-director of the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In this episode of the Bradley Lecture Series, AEI’s Dr. Leon Kass explores fundamental questions.  What is human happiness, and how is it attained? What is the connection between human excellence and human flourishing?

The deepest, wisest, and (arguably) most relevant exploration of human flourishing and its connection with human excellence may be found in Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics,” the truth(s) of which are set forth here. Special attention is also paid to Aristotle’s great-souled man and the enduring relevance, even in modern democratic times, of this peak of moral nobility.

After recent school shootings in Parkland and Santa Fe, lawmakers and the public are once again debating what needs to be done to keep students safe at school. In the second episode of the AEI Education Podcast, host Nat Malkus and two experts on school safety, Dewey Cornell and Ken Trump, discuss fears and facts about school safety, and practical approaches school leaders can take to keep students safe.

AEI’s Karlyn Bowman introduces the Bradley Lectures Podcast, the newest offering on the AEI Podcast Channel, launching early in September of 2018. The Bradley Lectures were a series of occasional lectures at the American Enterprise Institute, made possible by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which aimed to enrich debate in the Washington policy community through exploration of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of current controversies. For more than a quarter century, they attracted some of the most distinguished intellectuals in the country, including Irving Kristol, Robert Bork, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Walter Berns, James Q. Wilson, Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, and others who have added immeasurably to our nation’s discourse. AEI is delighted to continue the legacy of the Bradley Lectures by offering them to a fresh audience.

To view a full list of the Bradley Lectures, see the Bradley Lectures page on the AEI website.

In the first episode of the AEI Education Podcast, host Nat Malkus discusses the Janus V. AFCSME opinion, in which the Supreme Court ruled that public sector unions may no longer require non-members to pay agency fees.

First, Nat talks to the original filer of this case, Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, about why he thinks the opinion is such an important victory for taxpayers and for workers’ rights. Then, Katharine Strunk, Professor at Michigan State, joins Nat to discuss what the decision means for education policy and for the future of teacher unions.

On this episode of Viewpoint, AEI president Arthur Brooks gives a presentation on “Telling the Human Story” at the AEI/Ricochet Podcast Summit in Washington, DC. The secret to stronger human connection and persuasion isn’t more data, it’s better stories. Neuroscientists and behavioral social scientists have demonstrated this. By learning to share the narratives of our own lives—and paying closer attention to those of others—we can all become more effective and more unifying leaders.

For more Viewpoint podcasts, subscribe to the AEI Podcast Channel on Apple Podcasts.

This Viewpoint Podcast features a conversation with John Huffingon who, after spending 32 years in prison — 10 of which were on death row — maintained his innocence, and was ultimately released from prison in 2013 through a writ of actual innocence. Today, John works for Living Classrooms in Baltimore, where he runs programs to help educate former prisoners who are returning to the workforce. The goal is to reduce crime and recidivism in Maryland by helping those reentering society to get productive, legal jobs instead of going back to jail.

For more Viewpoint podcasts, subscribe to the AEI Podcast Channel on Apple Podcasts.

On this Viewpoint Podcast, AEI’s Aparna Mathur sits down with Isabel V. Sawhill from the Brookings Institution to discuss paid family leave proposals and the reasoning behind it.

Is it time for a paid family laeve policy in the United States? Listen to their discussion to hear their thoughts.

On this episode of ‘Viewpoint,’ AEI’s Andy Smarick sits down with Juliet Squire from Bellweather Education Partners for a wide-ranging conversation on the needs of rural America and when chartering might be a good fit. Proponents of school choice generally champion charter schools as a way to expand the education options available to families. But, for a host of policy and practical reasons, charters may not always be the right reform for a rural community.

This interview originally aired on AEI’s YouTube channel on December 15, 2017.